Someone had painted the exterior signage when area codes were just for long distance. The dangling, three-dimensional letters gave the words a sense of movement teetering on precariousness. Though the building facade would suggest otherwise, the royal blue door pushed right open, and in more ways than one, I felt as though the door had opened to another era. The capacious, wood paneled room felt like a museum of old office equipment: a curly-q phone cord, a radio clock, the type of printer that hums and lurches rhythmically. The technology took me back to the late 80s/early 90s, but more than anything, the smell transported me.
I couldn’t tell you the proper proportioning of mechanics, oil, grease, work, etc that leads to such an eau de parfum, but I can tell you it smelled exactly like my older brother’s mechanic shop. Suddenly, I was a little, curly-haired girl running around cars, toolboxes, oil buckets, a parking lot full of deceased vehicles and staring at cornfields in every direction. I went from McKees Rocks to Gothenburg, Nebraska with the opening of a door.
Nostalgia fuels so much of what I do and why I do it. I love weddings because they can be one of the most memorable days in a lifetime if planned properly. I love cameras and Instagram and Photoshop and blogging because all of these tools help preserve (and beautify) what memory might otherwise push to a back shelf.
I took a moment this past weekend to sip coffee slowly and eat waffles by myself- delicious, fluffy waffles with real maple syrup and pumpkin butter- while reading the newest issue of Lucky Peach. Unfortunately, taking time to sit and read is a memory falling deeper and deeper into the recesses. However, in this delicious reading refresher, a quote from Dorie Greenspan really struck me-
“Baking is really special,” she says. “We really don’t just bake for ourselves…. You bake to share. It’s such a pleasure. Everything about it- from the ingredients to the way they feel and the way they combine. There are memories attached to baking, so I think that even the scaredy-cats, the ones that don’t have enough time, will bake for the holidays.”
Memory and nostalgia. Nostalgia and memory. As I said, it really is the root for so much of what I do, so stay tuned for more baking, more associations, more memories recorded…more, more, more.
Have A Deliciously Memorable Week!